Fostering sustainable development, effectively tapping local potential and making tourism an important economic sector are development orientations that the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ha Nam province is making every effort to follow. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Le Xuan Huy, Director of Ha Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on its efforts. Duy Binh reports.
Could you please introduce the potential advantages and outstanding results of the Ha Nam tourism industry in the past time?
Ha Nam adjoins Hanoi in the south and lies on the trans-Vietnam tourist route. So, it has very important comparative advantages to strongly attract trans-Vietnam tourists and weekend tourists from Hanoi and neighboring localities. This is one good condition for Ha Nam to develop tourism.
Ha Nam's natural tourism resources are quite rich and relatively specific. The terrain of many limestone mountains combined with hot and humid tropical climate endows Ha Nam with many unique karst landscapes and famous domestic landscapes such as Tam Chuc Lake, Ba Hang Lake, Ngu Dong Mountain and Bat Canh Mountain. Besides, the dense river and lake network with the poetic beauty of the Red River, the Day River and the Chau River, together with the typical low-lying agricultural ecosystem, are unique features to develop different types of attractive tourism.
By humanistic tourism resources, Ha Nam is known for many outstanding values such as Tran Thuong Temple, Lang Giang Temple, Ba Danh Pagoda, Long Doi Son Pagoda and Truc Temple; traditional festivals like Tich Dien - Doi Son Festival, Lang Giang Temple Festival and Tam Chuc Pagoda Festival; unique handicraft villages like Doi Tam drum village, Nha Xa weaving village, Quyet Thanh pottery village, Ngoc Dong rattan village and Do Hai fine-art horn village. Ha Nam is also famous for having literature celebrities like Nguyen Khuyen - the first-place winner in all exam levels in the feudal time and Nam Cao - the realistic writer. Ha Nam's cuisine is indigenous to low-lying countryside such as fragrant rice, braised fish and pancakes with anabas. These strengths enable Ha Nam to create unique tourism products such as cultural and spiritual tourism, ecological tourism, village sightseeing and culinary tourism.
In recent years, Ha Nam tourism has developed rapidly. Many tourist areas and destinations have been planned and key projects have been further invested in infrastructure construction and product development. Especially, Tam Chuc tourist area in Ba Sao town and Kha Phong commune is a breakthrough project for Ha Nam tourism to thrive in the following years, while opening cooperation prospects of tourism development with other major tourism centers in the region such as Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.
Tourism facilities have been constantly constructed. Currently, Ha Nam has 25 hotels (including two 5-star hotels, four 3-star hotels and 19 1- and 2-star hotels), 129 motels, and more than 30 domestic travel businesses.
Tourist arrivals to Ha Nam are sharply rising each year. Particularly, in 2019, tourist arrivals surged to 2,895,600 (equal to 186.8% of the full-year plan and 124.6% higher than in 2018). Tourism service revenue was estimated at VND716 billion (fulfilling 153.6% of the yearly plan and 141.9% higher than in 2018).
To make tourism a key economic sector and sustain development, what will Ha Nam tourism sector need to do in the coming time?
For Ha Nam province, tourism has been defined as an important economic sector and its share in the economic structure keeps growing. To accomplish that goal, in the coming time, Ha Nam needs to implement the following solutions:
Boosting communications and information of tourism laws and regulations to raise awareness of tourism development; organizing training courses on capacity and responsibility of local communities of tourism product preservation and development; advertising the image of Ha Nam as an “attractive destination” for tourists.
Effectively carrying out approved plans, schemes and projects, with a focus on Ha Nam Tourism Master Plan to 2030, with a vision to 2050, and Tam Chuc Tourism Zone Master Plan to 2030; reviewing, adjusting and building tourism zone plans, attract investment capital for tourism infrastructure construction; speeding up infrastructure construction investment in Tam Chuc tourist area, focusing on key items and transport routes linking the tourist area with National Highway 1A and Bai Dinh - Trang An scenic landscape in Ninh Binh province; investing in essential items in relics and landscapes recognized as national monuments; strengthening protection and restoration of tourism resources.
Forming and improving the quality of major tourist products; developing new locally typical products in Tam Chuc National Tourist Area, Long Doi Son Pagoda, Tran Thuong Temple, Nguyen Khuyen Temple and Nam Cao Monument; building a cooperation roadmap with neighboring provinces and major tourist centers across the country to build inter-provincial and inter-regional tourist routes; effectively carrying out Ha Nam community tourism development project in 2020 - 2025; supporting investment in trade villages and galleries for tourism development purposes; encouraging production of souvenir and local specialties.
Speeding up communications on tourism promotion; building tourism marketing strategy; strengthening information technology application, with emphasis placed on promoting tourism on social networks and websites.
Developing tourism human resources; effectively carrying out tourism human resources development projects in 2019 - 2025.
In recent years, how has Ha Nam promoted tourism socialization, fostered conservation and promotion of cultural heritage values, and developed traditional trade villages and tourism?
Ha Nam has always paid attention to socializing tourism, facilitated people and economic sectors to develop the tourism economy, promoting and preserving cultural heritage values, building resorts, tourist sites and tours, and developing traditional trade villages and tourism.
In order to create a legal corridor to engage people and businesses to invest in tourism development, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has actively coordinated with relevant agencies and localities to advise the Provincial People’s Committee on building many tourism development plans, schemes and projects; coordinated and managed the execution of plans, schemes and projects to ensure strict and proper regulations; timely solving difficulties and obstacles for implementation of plans and projects, and facilitating investors and contractors to implement projects.
Actively reviewing and supplementing mechanisms and policies to encourage and attract investors to invest in tourist areas, particularly Tam Chuc Tourist Area; clearing ground for investors to locate their tourism development projects; introducing incentives for investors to develop ecotourism, harness cultural heritage, culinary culture, and handicraft villages for tourism development.
Introducing and effectively implementing programs, schemes, projects and plans on conservation of cultural heritages; planning tourist sites aligned with restoration of relics like cultural, sport and tourism development plan to 2020 and further to 2030 and cultural relic conservation project in 2016 - 2020; actively researching, collecting, conserving and promoting outstanding relic values and typical achievements; carrying projects to protect intangible cultural heritages like Quyen Son singing, La Le dancing, Lieu Doi wrestling and folk singing; restoring and promoting regional festivals, village festivals, rituals and folk games. The above heritages have been gradually tapped and promoted for tourism development and socioeconomic development as a whole.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum